Dangerdog Reviews receives its fair share of independent releases from bands around the world, many are quite good. But nothing of late has quite compared to the enthusiasm and professionalism of Canadian rockers, Top Johnny! Yes, the exclamation point is part of the name, but it is well deserved. Top Johnny!'s full-length debut delivers energetic fast paced rock and roll with memorable melodies, big hooks, and even bigger guitar licks. Add to this the crisp mix and exciting delivery and I could literally feel the band's presence gushing from my speakers. I can only imagine what Top Johnny sounds like live. It must be quite the show.
Top Johnny!'s musical adventure is both conventional and novel. On the conventional side, this is straight forward melodic hard rock with a huge beat and boisterous delivery (which invokes some not so subtle memories of 80's glam and sleaze rock). Most bands attempt to impress and draw you in by putting their best song first. 'Bad Boy,' a raucous and rowdy number does that, but frankly it's only the beginning.
What follows, with few exceptions, is a steady dose of impressive and engaging rock and roll. Bustin' Loose, Your Love Is Killing Me, and the rowdy, raunchy and somewhat corny, Love You Like An Animal are solid hard rock and roll numbers with lots of bravado. All feature some stirring fret work from TJ Star and Izzy. But the real star here may be bassist, Karo, whose chops are so persuasive and clean as to undermine any male counterpart. Honestly, Keep It Real would be an average melodic rock song if it weren't for her effortless and steady bass line. The big hit, however, is the thoroughly amazing The Edge (Is Where The Action Is) with it's huge arrangement, infectious chorus, and blazing guitar solos. Another one I'd love to hear (and see) live.
Where Top Johnny! becomes novel is towards the end of this work. The band draws heavily from groove-laced funk rock and, dare I say, some hip-hop nuances for This Time and We Are Live. I know what you're thinking: in the words of the apostle, May it never be! But if anybody can pull it off, Top Johnny! can do it, and they do it quite well. Think Living Colour meets KISS in the back seat of lowrider just on the border of Compton and you may have an idea what I hear. This is exciting, edgy, and quite convincing rock music.
Top Johnny!'s debut could not better: this is impressive, refreshing and exciting rock and roll. The music grabs you by the throat, heart, and soul and takes you prisoner with it's bombastic and believable melodies, big hooks, and edgy creativity. Highly recommended!
Top Johnny!'s debut could not better: this is impressive, refreshing and exciting rock and roll. The music grabs you by the throat, heart, and soul and takes you prisoner with it's bombastic and believable melodies, big hooks, and edgy creativity.
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